The Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center continues to be a hub of activity throughout the seasons. We had nearly 2000 visitors to the Dairy this past year for a variety of educational and research opportunities.
We offer frequent students tours for UNH classes – including Patty Bedker’s Ansc 400, Joanne Burke’s Dietetics Practicum, and a group from the University’s law school interested in the legal aspects of dairy farming – as well as other institutions and organizations. Over the course of the year, we led tours with a range of foci from the logistical basics of our milking operation to the scientific details of dairy nutrition for a variety of visitors from Dover High School, New Heights School, Winnicunnet High School, participants of the 4-H Teen Conference, home schooling groups, and prospective pre-veterinary science students.
Our CREAM program students gave tours to a group of Girl Scouts, participants of Seabrook Elementary Summer Recreation, and members of both the Maine and Merrimac County 4-H clubs and, later, visited Portsmouth Middle School to discuss the dairy industry with students there.
The Great Bay Community College veterinary technology class came to work with our heifers over the course of two days. And the students of the veterinary technology program at Dover High School observed Professor of Biology Dave Townson conducting an ultrasound on pregnant cows. And a student from the Great Britain Veterinary School in Edinburg shadowed Manager of the Fairchild Dairy Teaching and Research Center, Jon Whitehouse, at the dairy for a week.
In January, Genex conducted an artificial insemination course at our facility. Later, the annual Little Royal Livestock show was held using our heifers and the CREAM program hosted an open barn for the public.
Over the summer, the ever-popular annual Ag in the Classroom School to Farm program drew over 700 people and the Granite State Dairy Promotion open barn had roughly 850 visitors in attendance. In addition, we hosted the FFA interscholastic Dairy Competition at Fairchild Dairy last October.
Research activities remain vital to our operation, and include a:
- Continuation of the amino acid bioavailability study and reproductive studies
- New study comparing the conception of sexed and non-sexed semen with and without the addition of prostaglandin
- Behavioral study with calves that examines the effects of adding interaction/mixing of feed to growth rate
- Third year of a comparison study of blood stressor levels of Jerseys in confinement versus pasture-based operations.